UK renter supports giant gaming show

Nationwide Platforms was recently commissioned to lend powered access support for pre- and post-production installation work at the International Casino Exhibition (ICE) hosted at ExCeL London.

One of the world’s largest trade shows, the ICE is focused on the gaming industry, attracting huge visitors and exhibitors from across the globe.

ExCeL is London’s largest event venue and renowned as the home of world-leading events, offering 100,000sqm of space – the majority of which was used during the three-day ICE event.

Nationwide Platforms ICE

Nationwide Platforms provided 22 machines, including GS53 scissor lifts, Z45BJ and Z45FE tracked booms, and many others. 12 of these machines were hired by ExCeL directly, while the remaining machines were hired out to various subcontractors supporting the installation work.

The challenge

The ICE event operated on a huge scale. In the early pre-production installation process, the venue had to be prepared with gantry systems so that later contractors could set up lighting, rigging, exhibition stages and stands and sound equipment.

At later stages of the pre-production process, the floor space in the venue was cluttered with staging equipment, machinery and personnel. Not only did this present obvious difficulties for groundwork, it also presented challenges for installations at roof-level, with busy floor areas preventing straight-extending scissor lifts from reaching the targeted roof-space.

Once installed, the complex network of gantries suspended from the roof presented challenges of their own, since they fragmented the roof area into complex narrow spaces difficult to manoeuvre into.

In short, Nationwide Platforms needed to provide a diverse range of machines for each stage of the installation process. To ensure the correct machines were provided, a detailed pre-event site assessment was completed. It was identified that speedy installations at early set-up required machines with extensive platform size and lifting capacity for increased operator productivity.

Nationwide Platforms ICE Once groundwork had commenced, flexible boom lifts were required to reach gantries and roof spaces

When the event became more cluttered, machines were required that could reach up and over obstructed floor-spaces while also allowing operators to manoeuvre between complex gantry systems via flexible basket rotation systems and outreach systems.

In addition, as this was an indoor venue, Nationwide Platforms needed to provide machines which did not mark the floors. At later stages of the project, the venue had many personnel working indoors at once, meaning the machines needed to function without emitting diesel fumes and without producing loud engine noises.

Finally, and most importantly, because much of the work had to take place at heights of up to 20m, ensuring the operators were safely and securely fastened into their machines was paramount.

The solution

Nationwide Platforms provided a variety of machines to cover the range of requirements for each different stage of the exhibition build.

Nationwide Platforms ICE

At the beginning of the installation process, Nationwide Platforms brought in heavier machines which maximised productivity. Of particular use were the GS53 18m scissor lifts. A significant advantage of the GS53s in this context was their large platform and double extending decks, which allowed two or three operators to work in tandem and reach several different parts of the gantry at once, thereby significantly accelerating the pre-production installation process.

Faced with busier environments, especially as the exhibition itself drew near, it became harder for machines to extend straight up towards the roof space. In addition, the environment was more crowded with equipment and human personnel, meaning lighter, narrower and greener machines were required. Nationwide Platforms therefore capitalised on its diverse fleet of boom lifts, making particular use of the Z45FE, which can negotiate through narrow ground-level spaces, and which is equipped with an extending arm capable of looping up and over ground-level obstructions to zero in on very narrow spaces between the gantries. Fine-tuning this precision even more, the basket of the Z45FE can be manipulated in multiple directions and angles, allowing operators to access the tightest roof spaces at the best angle of approach.

Nationwide Platforms ICE In the quieter early stages of the build, heavy scissor lifts with ample platform space were able to maximise productivity for fast, efficient installation.

During this part of the exhibition build, Nationwide Platforms switched to electric machines with enhanced duty cycle on the battery, ensuring work could be completed without emissions and without unnecessary downtime. So as not to overwhelm a busy indoor environment with noise, the machines were equipped with sound-dampening technology. They were also equipped with non-marking tyres, ensuring that the floor of the venue was kept pristine for the upcoming event.

To address the potential safety hazards incumbent upon working at height on such a complex task, Nationwide Platforms ensured its machines were installed with its secondary guarding safety technology, Harness On.

Using intelligent induction technology, Harness On connects a worker’s lanyard carabiner directly into a machine’s control panel, preventing the current from reaching the machine until an operator is securely fastened in. In short, unless the operator is safely secured with their harness clipped in, the machine won’t operate. Through the use of this technology, Nationwide Platforms significantly reduces the risk of falls from height. Importantly, the operators needed only to fasten in as normal, and the rest took care of itself: they could focus diligently upon the job without a hitch.

The benefits

Nationwide Platforms ICE

Overall Nationwide Platforms’ tailored response to the project showcased the diversity of a fleet equipped to tackle a number of problems in a changing environment.

In fact, in light of the project’s success, ExCeL have contracted Nationwide Platforms to keep several machines on a permanent hire in reserve at the venue for use in upcoming events.

Nigel Winer, Commercial and Technical Rigging Manager at ExCeL, said: “Such a huge event comes with its fair share of challenges, but the pre- and post-production installations were carried out safely and efficiently, using an impressively diverse range of machines intelligently adapted to the changing needs of the project.

Nationwide Platforms ICE

Matthew Parfitt, Head of Market Development – Media, Venues & Events at Nationwide Platforms, said, “At Nationwide Platforms we are committed to maintaining a diversified fleet that can cater to a wide range of powered access requirements across several industries. The recent project at ExCeL for the ICE allowed us to showcase not only the dynamic adaptability of our fleet in real-time according to changing requirements when and as they arise but also our credentials in the Events and Venues sector, which has its own set of unique challenges.

The fact that ExCeL has contracted Nationwide Platforms to keep several machines on standby at the venue for future installation projects is a testament to the success of this project, and to the trust our customers place in our machines.”

Loxam Powered Access CEO on equipment, costs, acquisitions and headwinds Paul Rankin shares the challenges and solutions in today’s international rental market 


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